Field Tool Kit

 

Things happen in the field, particularly when we are using complicated sampling gears (= electrofishing equipment).  Malfunctions can occur in the electrodes, branch circuits (conductors running from the control box or power source to the electrodes), the power source, or the control box.  Biologists build a lot of their own equipment, wiring boats, electric seines, and the like.  From what I’ve seen, most problems appear in our wiring or construction, but generator problems, and sometimes control box issues do occur.  Fisheries biologists are a resourceful lot.  If given direction, they usually can diagnose the problem at hand and get back to sampling.  With this in mind, Midwest Lake Electrofishing Systems, based in Polo, Missouri, has developed a list of items for a basic field tool kit (see below).  Although the intent is a tool kit for electrofishing boats, this kit applies to any electrofishing gear type.

Many thanks to the crew at MLES.

suggested-basic-field-tool-kit-for-an-electrofishing-boat-11_2016

Testing Equipment: Importance and Recommendations

Testing equipment, particularly current clamps and scopemeters, have a substantial role to play in electrofishing sampling programs.  I was first introduced to this notion years ago by A. Lawrence (“Larry”) Kolz and Jim Reynolds, two people that made substantial advances in the conceptual basis for electrofishing.  Since then, Jan Dean and I have used test equipment in a number of situations, built Excel-based programs to utilize collected information, and have worked on identifying inexpensive yet accurate meter alternatives.

In this blog, I will attempt to describe purposes of testing equipment, some approaches and considerations regarding their use, share a few of our test results, and provide a list of suggested models.

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Ambient or specific conductivity?

Of all the environmental variables which affect electrofishing success, the one for which the most is known, and indeed it has been said is the most important, is water conductivity. This article explores the how and why of conductivity in electrofishing.
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Standardising by power II

You can use this worksheet to apply your data collected in Standardising By Power I.Continue Reading..

Standardising by power I

Finding minimum power (voltage and current) levels for effective, successful electrofishing at a sampling site is important for several reasons.

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Increasing capture efficiency and sampling precision

As an experienced user, your methodological aims likely include:

  1. develop and standardize species ‘x’ sampling protocols; and,
  2. collect more accurate and precise data to characterize species ‘x’ populations.

If this is the case the Framework for Increasing Capture Efficiency and Sampling Precision is for you. This tool provides a recipe for improving your electrofishing.

The PDF references several Excel worksheets developed by Jan Dean. They can be downloaded on this resources page.

 

Electrode resistance procedures

This document provides guidance for making electrode measurements on various gear types, using an external power source and an internal power source.Continue Reading..

How to make a voltage gradient probe

A voltage gradient probe is used to measure and map electrical fields produced by electrofishing units. It can be a valuable tool for assessing and standardising electrofishing equipment.

Download the PDF file with detailed DIY instructions.

 

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